Terrorists Kill 11 Christians in Plateau State, Nigeria

Terrorists Kill 11 Christians in Plateau State, Nigeria

ABUJA, Nigeria, October 4, 2023 (Morning Star News) – Fulani herdsmen and other terrorists on Sunday (Oct. 1) killed eight Christians in Plateau state, Nigeria, and wounded five others, sources said.

The assailants attacked Du village, in Bassa County’s Kwall District, with two children among those slain and the wounded requiring hospital treatment, said Davidson Malison, spokesman of the Irigwe Development Association (IDA), in a press statement.

The Fulani militias stormed the community at about 8:10 p.m., positioned themselves and sprayed bullets on the bodies of innocent Christians who were asleep,” Malison said. “To prove the maximum act of wickedness by these terrorists, children of 9 and 11 years were among those killed.”

He called on the Nigerian government to urgently task security personnel to arrest the assailants.

The terrorists are known to the Nigerian government, and they are not ghosts nor invisible,” he said. “They had made threatening statements particularly to our communities in recent past.”

He identified those slaughtered as Shara Danjuma, 9; Williams Danjuma, 11; Wala Boyi, 17; Yohanna Zehwhie, 35; Avu Goji,18; Tingwie Nko, 38; Afiniki Sunday, 25; and Gani Doglas, 28. Wounded were Tini Thomas, 14; Rondo Peter, 18; Boma Sunday, 45; Geoffrey David, 19; and Joseph Monday, 25.

We’re not only saddened by this unfortunate development and occurrence but completely depressed and brokenhearted, knowing fully how peaceful and hospitable Christians have lived with their Muslim neighbors in Plateau state,” Malison said.

The attack has enveloped the local community in “tears, sorrow and sadness,” he said.

This is no doubt the continuation of destruction of lives and the ceaseless attempts to annihilate Christians of Rigwe ethnic extraction by terrorists and armed herdsmen has kept on persisting,” he said.

In Plateau state’s Atuhun Panyam village, Mangu County, three Christians were killed on Sept. 27, area residents said. Area community leaders Longse Jokle and Joshua Gufwam in a press statement expressed sadness over continued attacks on Christians in Plateau state.

We mourn the brutal killing of three of our people in Atuhun Panyam: Panshak Peter, Ishaku Zumuk and Yakubu Sokyes, by Fulani militias; all whose corpses have been recovered from their farms where they were attacked,” Jokle and Gufwam said. “They have been buried in their respective villages which span into Pushit District.”

Jokle and Gufwam, president and secretary respectively of the Panyam District Development Association, called on the country’s security agencies to halt attacks on Christians in Plateau state.

We condemn the killing of the three Christian farmers and call on security agencies to go after the killers,” they said.

Nigeria led the world in Christians killed for their faith in 2022, with 5,014, according to Open Doors’ 2023 World Watch List (WWL) report. It also led the world in Christians abducted (4,726), sexually assaulted or harassed, forcibly married or physically or mentally abused, and it had the most homes and businesses attacked for faith-based reasons. As in the previous year, Nigeria had the second most church attacks and internally displaced people.

In the 2023 World Watch List of the countries where it is most difficult to be a Christian, Nigeria jumped to sixth place, its highest ranking ever, from No. 7 the previous year.

Militants from the Fulani, Boko Haram, Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) and others conduct raids on Christian communities, killing, maiming, raping and kidnapping for ransom or sexual slavery,” the WWL report noted. “This year has also seen this violence spill over into the Christian-majority south of the nation… Nigeria’s government continues to deny this is religious persecution, so violations of Christians’ rights are carried out with impunity.”

Numbering in the millions across Nigeria and the Sahel, predominantly Muslim Fulani comprise hundreds of clans of many different lineages who do not hold extremist views, but some Fulani do adhere to radical Islamist ideology, the United Kingdom’s All-Party Parliamentary Group for International Freedom or Belief (APPG) noted in a 2020 report.

They adopt a comparable strategy to Boko Haram and ISWAP and demonstrate a clear intent to target Christians and potent symbols of Christian identity,” the APPG report states.

Christian leaders in Nigeria have said they believe herdsmen attacks on Christian communities in Nigeria’s Middle Belt are inspired by their desire to forcefully take over Christians’ lands and impose Islam as desertification has made it difficult for them to sustain their herds.